Questions and answers for employees

Since 1 August 2020, RUB has been operating under Covid 19 conditions. The rules are likely to remain in force until the end of the winter semester, i.e. until 31 March 2021 – to the extent that the epidemiological developments and political guidelines will permit. RUB is well equipped to deal with the current trend of rising infection rates. Among other things, the regulations on remote work have reduced the time employees spend on campus. Moreover, the winter semester is a mix of many online and a few classroom courses. Important general questions and answers are compiled on this page. Moreover, detailed regulations, information and forms are provided in the “Serviceportal”.

How do operations under COVID 19 conditions work in practice?

(30 October 2020)

Mouth-nose mask

On 29 October 2020 the mask obligation was extended and exists no longer only in the buildings, but also outside on the entire Campus. Justified exceptions are made where a medical certificate exempts you from the obligation to cover your nose and mouth. In such cases, you may enter the relevant areas with a face shield instead of a nose-mouth mask; this shield must cover the entire face.

Working

Since 1 August 2020, all employees have had the option to alternate between working from home and working on campus. In the process, at least 50% of the work is to be carried out at the respective university workplaces, in accordance with the relevant personnel deployment concepts and to the extent that it can be organised, that enough space is available and that the social context allows.

Note: The previous rule for compulsory attendance at the workplace was amended on 29 October 2020 as follows: provided that all duties are performed in full, the proportion of work done in the home office can, in consultation with superiors, exceed 50%. If possible, service and committee meetings should not be conducted in person but online.

Lectures and seminars

For lectures, seminars and other events, a maximum of 50 people are allowed in one room. A detailed information sheet is available in the service portal. Lab internships and other practical classes can likewise take place with up to 50 participants, as well as sports training and exercises including university sports. Any events that are not absolutely necessary (parties, choir and theatre rehearsals etc.) are not permitted.

Exams

Written exams can once again be taken in lecture halls with fixed seating, subject to special traceability regulations (with seat registration). For exams of any kind (including doctoral and post-doctoral examinations), a handbook is provided in the service portal.

Note: The new regulations for events and meetings adopted by politicians in mid-October 2020 do not apply to teaching and examination operations, as these are regulated separately in the Allgemeinverfügung für Hochschulen.

University library

The university library provides more space for studying and revisions for students writing term papers or theses.

Business trips and excursions

Business trips within Germany are once again possible. Business and research trips abroad can be approved in urgent cases, subject to the Federal Government’s country-specific travel warnings and special regulations. Excursions within Germany are likewise once again possible. *

* Due to the current situation and increasing numbers of infections, the regulations for all business and research trips may change at short notice. The final decision is made by Department 3.

Key rules for operations under Covid-19 conditions?

  • Keep your distance! At least 1.5 meters (5 feet). If that’s not possible, use plexiglass partition or cover your mouth and nose with a mask or cloth.
  • Mouth-nose mask: see above.
  • Communication: If possible always communicate by phone, email or video conference.
  • Greetings: Avoid at all cost! No handshakes! No hugs!
  • Rooms in general: Air all rooms regularly or leave ventilation/air conditioning switched on.
  • Confined spaces: (e.g. lifts, toilets, changing rooms, photocopy rooms, tea kitchens) should be used by one person at a time.
  • Social rooms: Should be used only by persons who are not allowed to eat and drink at the workplace (e.g. laboratory, workshop). Only one or a few persons at a time. Seats at a distance of at least 1.5 m (5 feet) next to each other (not facing each other).
  • Office workstations: Mainly in individual offices; alternatively: staff rotation in offices with several occupants resp. working from home. In offices used by several people at the same time, the distance between seats should be at least 1.5 m, if possible not facing each other. Auxiliary plexiglass partitioning.
  • Workshops and labs: Follow the distancing rules. Don’t share any personal protective equipment with others. If possible, don’t share any tools with others, clean them regularly and wear gloves when tools are used by more than one person.

Key rules for Covid-19 infection, symptoms, contact, international travel

  • Covid-19 infection verified: Patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 are not allowed to enter the RUB campus and facilities until the responsible public health department has lifted the quarantine.
  • Symptoms present: Persons with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (cough, sniffles, sore throat with/without fever) and/or suffering from newly occurring odour or taste disorders are not allowed to enter their workplace; please contact your doctor instead (if necessary Covid-19 test, sick leave).
  • Contact with a patient: Persons who have had direct contact with a Covid-19 patient may only enter the RUB campus and facilities after the quarantine imposed by the health department has ended (at the earliest 14 days after contact).
  • International travel: Persons returning from a trip abroad are not allowed to enter the RUB campus and facilities during the quarantine period (see “Corona Einreiseverordnung NRW”, i.e. entry regulations NRW).

Frequently asked questions

What is currently changing for the home office? (29 October 2020)

The previous rule for compulsory attendance at the workplace is amended as follows until further notice and with immediate effect: provided that all duties are performed in full, the proportion of work done in the home office can, in consultation with superiors, exceed 50%. If possible, service and committee meetings should not be conducted in person but online.

Does mail delivery continue? (21 September 2020)

All incoming mail and parcels at RUB arrive at the central post office (internal and external). It is possible to collect mail and parcels in person at the central post office every day between 7 am and 12 noon. The central post office is available as usual under the phone no. 22957. Due to the currently reduced number of staff, it is not possible to deliver mail to offices outside the campus.

Three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, mail will be delivered to the external mailboxes on campus, and users will be able to pick up their mail from 12 noon. This applies to the following mailboxes: IA, IB, IC, ID, NC, GB, GD.

Mailboxes for outgoing mail at the external post offices on campus will be emptied the same days and the mail will be dispatched.

Parcels can be picked up on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the mailrooms in the following buildings:

  • Mailroom GB Süd 05/56: GA, GB, GC, GD
  • Mailroom IB Süd 01/114: IA, IB, IC, ID, IAN, IBN, ICN, IDN
  • Infopoint MA: MA, ZKF1, ZKF2, TM (ZVM)
  • Mailroom NC Nord 04/298: NB, NC, ND
  • Zentrale Poststelle (central mailroom): all other buildings

The post offices can be reached by telephone during opening hours:

  • Poststelle GB: 0234/32-25767
  • Poststelle IB: 0234/32-19320
  • Poststelle MA: 0234/32-26830
  • Poststelle NC: 0234/32-25766
  • Zentrale Poststelle: 0234/32-22957

In-person contact will be kept to a minimum as parcels are handed over.

Can the holiday be cancelled? (1 September 2020)

Since September 1, 2020, it has again been possible to cancel or postpone vacation without an official reason, but of course with the approval of the superior. The functions will also be reactivated in the digital vacation administration.

How can I best document my daily contacts? (30.7.2020)

Operations under Covid-19 conditions facilitate work processes on campus, while helping us maintain our duty of care towards employees and students through infection prevention measures. A crucial element is the prompt traceability of contacts over a period of 4 weeks in the event of a Covid-19 infection (positive test result), so that chains of infection can be interrupted permanently at an early stage. In courses, seminars etc., this is done by registering in an attendance list. We also recommend that all employees document (e.g. daily) with whom they’ve had contact at their workplace, in particular if they had any face-to-face contact at a distance of less than 1.5 metres (5 feet) for at least 15 minutes.

Can new hires and reemployment be processed? (2 July 2020)

A distinction must be made between the status groups:

Professors, civil servants: The HR department currently has a problem with new appointments of civil servants for life, because the health authorities offer appointments for official medical examinations with a significant delay; the Bochum health authority currently allocates check-ups for the end of September. Delays are therefore to be expected.

Research assistants and “Tarifbeschäftigte” (employees covered by collective bargaining agreements): All applications are being processed once again, in order of priority.

Assistant lecturers/assistants: All applications will be processed promptly. The two-week period (before the start of the contract) is currently suspended.

What about the vacation system? (2 July 2020)

It is once again possible to digitally submit and process holiday requests of all employees in the engineering and administration departments. All participants in the pilot phases of the digital holiday management scheme can submit their holiday requests digitally as usual. As of 1 July 2020, the special rule of applying by email is no longer in force.

All other employees must once again submit their holiday request in writing through the official channels.

Please note any further instructions regarding your holiday request. More information on the project is available in the "Serviceportal" (German).

Can vocational training at RUB be continued on location? (2 July 2020)

Currently, trainees are trained on campus wherever possible, i.e. in compliance with the health protection regulations. Other trainees are still working from home, as some workshops are still closed or because they can’t be supervised as offices can be used by only one person at a time. Trainees prepare for their exams and attend some in-person classes in small groups.

How to submit invoices? (12 June 2020)

How an invoice is to be submitted to Department 4 depends on whether the invoice is received in paper or digital form at the facility. You can find the exact procedure for this in the "Serviceportal" (in German).

Will an informal email be sufficient to call in sick/report back to work or will I have to fill out the form and send it to Department 3 (Dezernat 3)? (12 June 2020)

The digital system is currently not working. However, you can call in sick/report back for work by sending an email that is approved by your superior to Dezernat 3 - Administrative Department of Human Resources and Law. From the third day of sick leave, a certificate of incapacity to work (“Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung”, AU) will be required, as per usual. The exact procedure is outlined in the "Serviceportal".

Do I have accident insurance in my home office? (8 June 2020)

Basically yes. You can find detailed regulations on this in a PDF document in the "Serviceportal" (in German).

What do I do if I receive an overdue notice? (4 June 2020)

Overdue notices can be submitted to department 4, accounts payable (Dezernat 4, Kreditorenbuchhaltung). You should include a note stating whether you are aware of the relevant invoice and whether it was submitted by post or by email. You should also include a contact.

Can I get a written confirmation that I’ve been working from home (“home office”) for my tax return? (4 June 2020)

Written confirmations are likely to be issued by the responsible staff members next year, i.e. in 2021. The number of days you have been working from home must be confirmed in advance by your supervisor.

Who is entitled to childcare? (28 April 2020)

Employees working in critical key positions and, since 27 April 2020, single parents are entitled to childcare in case of emergency. The certificate for this can be obtained from "Stabsstelle Familiengerechte Hochschule". Further information can be found in the "Serviceportal" (in German).

Are there any support services in place for employees with children, pregnant employees and family caregivers? (22 April 2020)

The Family-friendly University provides advice to employees with family and caring responsibilities. The most important information, also on this topic, can be found as PDF in the "Serviceportal" (in German).

Are internal transfers possible? (2 April 2020)

Internal manual transfers can be done. Paper versions are preferable. Otherwise, the signed transfer request can also be submitted as a PDF file to importe@uv.rub.de.

How should procurement applications be submitted? (2 April 2020)

Urgent procurement applications can be submitted by email, and do not have to be submitted in the original. Instead of confirming the factual correctness of the information in the procurement application by hand, a written confirmation in the email is sufficient. Urgent service and freelance contracts can be submitted in the same way.

Please direct any queries to the Purchasing Division at the following email address: beschaffung@uv.rub.de
Regarding invoices for orders placed by the Purchasing Division, further information can be found under “How to submit invoices during basic operations?”

How can I claim travel expenses (including for cancelled business trips)? (30 March 2020)

Generally, all costs incurred can be claimed at the travel cost office by submitting an expense report. If travel expenses could not be fully or could be only partially cancelled, proof of expenses must be enclosed. Any deductions received must be clearly indicated on the expense invoice.

If the application for travel expenses is submitted by email, the following applies:

- The authorising officer must also confirm the “factual correctness” by email.

- The email must contain a statement that the costs will not be claimed again at a later date with the original receipts.

Meetings and conferences:

Here, proof of cancellation must be enclosed with the expense report. This proof is not required for countries or regions that have implemented entry bans in the meantime.

Rebooking flights:

As it isn’t possible to make any future prognoses at this point, it is not recommended to accept the airlines' rebooking offers.

Do I get my salary during a quarantine? (16 March 2020)

If employees are quarantined by the responsible health authority, this order is binding. You will receive this order in writing. Your salary will continue to be paid during this period.

If RUB orders a quarantine, you will also continue to receive your salary.

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Current information about Corona

How are operations under COVID 19 conditions going to work in practice? (13.7.2020)

RUB has implemented a few centralised framework regulations, allowing specific rules to be implemented in a decentralised manner by the respective deans, managers, department heads and other executives who also ensure compliance in their respective area of responsibility. Concepts have to be drawn up or existing staff deployment concepts have to be updated, but are no longer to be submitted to the staff deployment concepts task force. If necessary, the company doctor or the occupational safety unit can provide advice.

The changes will be as follows:

  • The Rectorate has decided that all employees should be able to alternately work from home and come to their workplace. To this end, from 1 August 2020, at least 50% of the work at the faculties, institutions and administration is to be carried out at the respective university workplaces, in accordance with the relevant personnel deployment concepts and to the extent that it can be organised, that enough space is available and that the social context allows.
  • To this end, additional measures may have to be taken on location to ensure the necessary hygiene and social distancing rules.
  • Employees who use public transport may, in consultation with their supervisor, take advantage of more flexible working hours in order to avoid rush hours in local traffic.
  • Employees who can’t return to their university workplace due to special requirements (e.g. work task, workplace, “risk group”), must discuss alternative deployment options with the dean’s office or the staff deployment concepts task force.
  • If all social distancing rules at the workplace are complied with, the infection risk is not estimated to be higher than in everyday life. If there is an increased risk of severe Covid 19 infection, the patient’s physician carries out an individual risk assessment. The company doctor can be involved in an advisory capacity. The HR department has to provide clearance.
  • Employees must be able to balance work with family responsibilities (childcare, taking care of relatives). Information and offers are available in the “Serviceportal” (German). Guidelines for personnel deployment concepts are also provided there (in German).
  • As of 1 July 2020, mouth-nose masks must be worn in all RUB passageways and communal facilities (corridors, staircases, toilets, lifts, tea kitchens...), both on campus and in all RUB branches in town. A distance of 1.5 m (5 feet) must be maintained in buildings and outdoors. Everyone is required to avoid crowds.
  • Should in-person classes or meetings be necessary, a maximum of 50 people are allowed in one room. This applies to any attendance, including courses, meetings, committee meetings, etc. except for examinations. One-off events on campus, such as inspections for the purpose of re-accreditation, summer schools or similar events with up to 50 participants can go ahead, provided the RUB’s hygiene and distance rules are complied with.
  • The same applies to necessary in-house training and workshops for employees, but it is recommended to use an equivalent digital format, if applicable. The "Serviceportal" provides a detailed leaflet with the rules for organising and attending courses and meetings under Covid 19 conditions (in German).
  • Third-party courses and meetings of up to 50 attendees are possible under the same conditions as in-house courses and meetings. The use of available rooms for RUB courses, classes, committee meetings or exams always has priority over third-party requests. Any gatherings that are not absolutely necessary (parties, choir and theatre rehearsals etc.) are not permitted.
  • The following applies for exams: written exams can once again be taken in lecture halls with fixed seating, subject to special traceability regulations (with seat registration), following the standard distancing regulations that apply in exams. For exams of any kind (including doctoral and post-doctoral examinations), a handbook is provided in the "Serviceportal" (German) – a participant limit no longer applies.
  • Lab internships and other practical classes with up to 50 participants can be conducted, subject to special regulations. Sports training and exercises can be carried out, in accordance with the applicable legal regulations.
  • The university sports department runs a reduced programme, subject to special hygiene rules.
  • The university library will provide more space for studying and revisions for students writing term papers or theses. The departmental libraries are also requested to develop appropriate concepts in order to provide space for students and members of the teaching staff to study and revise.
  • Business trips within Germany are once again possible. Business and research trips abroad can be approved in urgent cases, subject to the Federal Government’s country-specific travel warnings and special regulations.
  • Excursions within Germany are once again possible. It is possible to use the RUB’s own vehicles and the car pool in compliance with all hygiene and infection protection standards. Relevant guidelines for business trips and excursions are currently being coordinated with the staff representatives.

Detailed information and many forms and documents are available in the "Serviceportal".

Which key rules do exist for operations under Covid-19 conditions? (13.7.2020)

  • Keep your distance! At least 1.5 meters (5 feet). If that’s not possible, use plexiglass partition or cover your mouth and nose with a mask or cloth.
  • Mouth-nose mask: To be worn in all passageways and communal facilities (toilets, tea kitchens etc.) inside the buildings.
  • Communication: If possible always communicate by phone, email or video conference.
  • Greetings: Avoid at all cost! No handshakes! No hugs!
  • Rooms in general: Air all rooms regularly or leave ventilation/air conditioning switched on.
  • Confined spaces: (e.g. lifts, toilets, changing rooms, photocopy rooms, tea kitchens) should be used by one person at a time.
  • Social rooms: Should be used only by persons who are not allowed to eat and drink at the workplace (e.g. laboratory, workshop). Only one or a few persons at a time. Seats at a distance of at least 1.5 m (5 feet) next to each other (not facing each other).
  • Office workstations: Mainly in individual offices; alternatively: staff rotation in offices with several occupants resp. working from home. In offices used by several people at the same time, the distance between seats should be at least 1.5 m, if possible not facing each other. Auxiliary plexiglass partitioning.
  • Workshops and labs: Follow the distancing rules. Don’t share any personal protective equipment with others. If possible, don’t share any tools with others, clean them regularly and wear gloves when tools are used by more than one person.

Which key rules do exist for Covid-19 infection, symptoms, contact, international travel? (13.7.2020)

  • Covid-19 infection verified: Patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 are not allowed to enter the RUB campus and facilities until the responsible public health department has lifted the quarantine.
  • Symptoms present: Persons with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (cough, sniffles, sore throat with/without fever) and/or suffering from newly occurring odour or taste disorders are not allowed to enter their workplace; please contact your doctor instead (if necessary Covid-19 test, sick leave).
  • Contact with a patient: Persons who have had direct contact with a Covid-19 patient may only enter the RUB campus and facilities after the quarantine imposed by the health department has ended (at the earliest 14 days after contact).
  • International travel: Persons returning from a trip abroad are not allowed to enter the RUB campus and facilities during the quarantine period (see “Corona Einreiseverordnung NRW”, i.e. entry regulations NRW).
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